More than 1 million people vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna’s COVID-19 shots went back for a third dose ahead of any OK from regulators, according to a report citing estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The 1.1 million estimate cited in an internal agency briefing document, reportedly obtained by ABC News, likely represents an underestimate because it excluded recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who may have returned for a second unauthorized dose. Florida was reported among states with the largest number of people seeking third shots. Other states listed were Ohio, California, Illinois and Tennessee.
The CDC didn’t immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
The report noted it wasn’t clear whether those who received an unauthorized third shot had consulted with a physician, and sought the third vaccine under their guidance.
COVID-19 booster vaccines are not yet authorized, and the FDA and CDC in mid-July said fully vaccinated Americans didn’t need an extra dose. However, an independent panel of experts advising the CDC intend to meet Friday, Aug. 13 to discuss “additional doses in immunocompromised individuals,” or those with weakened immune systems who may not respond well to the initial vaccination series.
Some immunocompromised patients have already sought out additional doses unsupervised and ahead of any regulatory approval, Dr. Camille Kotton, clinical director of Transplant and Immunocompromised Host Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, said at an Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting in late July.
“I have major concerns about equity because, from my experience, I have noted that it is patients who tend to be more educated and more empowered to take care of their own healthcare who are getting these additional doses, so I worry that some are being left behind,” Kotton previously said.